US Probes Terrorist Concerns Over 'Missing' Malaysian Airlines Jet
The dismal news overnight that a Malaysian Airlines jet, carrying over 200 passengers and crew, had "gone missing" appears to have become considerably more troublesome. News this morning of pools of oil off the Vietnam coast - suggestive of a crash - are dreadful but, as NBC News reports, perhaps more crucially, U.S. officials told NBC News on Saturday they are investigating terrorism concerns after two people listed as passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet turned out not to be on the plane and had reported their passports stolen (while in Thailand).
The lastest on the "missing" plane (via The Telegraph),
Vietnam air force planes spot two oil slicks suspected to be from missing Malaysian Boeing 777 jet.
The fate of flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains unclear more than 12 hours after air traffic controllers lost touch with the plane.
However, Vietnamese authorities said they had spotted a 14-mile long oil slick 120 miles off the coast of Cape Ca Mau - the most southerly point of Vietnam's mainland.
A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were spotted late on Saturday off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between six and nine miles long.
But there are growing concerns that this was a terrorist attack... (via NBC News,)
Luigi Maraldi, 37, was the only Italian on a passenger manifest released by the airline after the jet disappeared over the South China Sea.
But his father, Walter Maraldi, told NBC News from Cesena, Italy: “Luigi called us early this morning to reassure us he was fine, but we didn’t know about the accident. Thank God he heard about it before us.”
Luigi Maraldi was on vacation in Thailand, the father said. He said that Luigi Maraldi’s passport was stolen one year ago.
The foreign ministry of Austria confirmed to NBC News that police had made contact with a citizen who was also on the passenger list, and who reported his passport stolen two years ago while traveling in Asia.
And Reuters confirms that both passports were stolen in Thailand (where there is considerable social unrest occurring currently),
"[The Austrian] embassy got the information that there was an Austrian on board. That was the passenger list from Malaysia Airlines. Our system came back with a note that this is a stolen passport," he said.
Police found the man at his home. The passport was stolen two years ago while he was travelling in Thailand, the spokesman said.
The foreign ministry in Rome said no Italian was on the plane either, despite the inclusion of Maraldi's name on the list.
Newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that his passport was stolen in Thailand last August. The police could not confirm press reports that it had been registered as lost or stolen there, as they said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responsible for thefts abroad.
The Telegraph with more color:
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